El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at El Paso area ports of entry confiscated 477 pounds of marijuana in seven seizures and 20.3 pounds of cocaine in one bust on Tuesday. CBP officers also identified 33 additional violations while performing exams at area ports.
The largest seizure of the day occurred at the Santa Teresa port of entry just before 7 a.m. when a 1982 Ford F-150 pickup arrived at the port from Mexico. CBP officers working at the port noted discrepancies in the appearance of the vehicle and initiated an intensive exam. CBP officers scanned the vehicle with an X-ray unit and spotted bundles in the propane fuel tank. The fuel tank was opened and CBP officers removed 216 marijuana-filled bundles. The drugs weighed 242 pounds. CBP officers arrested the driver, 32-year-old Nolberto Miranda Beltran of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. He was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents to face federal prosecution.
CBP officers at the Ysleta international crossing in El Paso seized 20.3 pounds of cocaine late Tuesday morning. CBP officers and canine teams were conducting a sweep of vehicles waiting in line at the port when CBP drug sniffing dog "Frankie" alerted to a 1998 Ford Expedition. CBP officers launched an exam and located a non-factory compartment in the center console area of the vehicle. CBP officers removed a total of eight cocaine-filled bundles from the compartment. CBP officers arrested the driver, 32-year-old Arturo Martinez of Berino, New Mexico. He was turned over to ICE special agents to face federal prosecution.
CBP officers at the El Paso port made six more drug busts Tuesday seizing an additional 235 pounds of marijuana in those cases. CBP officers also identified and apprehended 20 imposters who were attempting to enter the U.S. using legitimate documents that were not assigned to that person. They also stopped seven intended immigrants, three people who had entered the country illegally, two NCIC fugitives, and one agriculture violation.
While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.